Online Education Systems in Scandinavian and Australian Universities: A Comparative Study

  • Morten Paulsen
Keywords: IMS, SCORM, learning managment systems, student management systems, Australia, Norway, online learning


This article presents a comparative study of online education systems in Norwegian, Swedish, and Australian universities. The online education systems discussed comprise content creation tools and systems for learning management, student management, and accounting. The author of this article arrives at the conclusion that there seems to be a general lack of integration between theses systems in all three countries. Further, there seems to be little focus on standards specifications such as IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS) and Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) in higher education in all three countries. It was found that both Norway and Sweden value the importance of nationally developed learning management systems and student management systems; however, this does not seem to be the case in Australia. There also seems to be much more national coordination and governmental coercion concerning the choice of student management systems used in Sweden and Norway, than is the case in Australia. Finally, with regard to online education, the most striking difference between these three countries is that of economic policy. In Australia, education is considered an important export industry. In Norway and Sweden, however, the export of education does not seem to be an issue for public discussion.

Author Biography

Morten Paulsen
Morten Flate Paulsen, Ed.D., earned his Doctorate from The Pennsylvania State University, has worked with online education since 1986. He has written extensively on the subject of distance education. Paulsen designed the EKKO computer conferencing system for distance education, which led to the establishment of Norway’s NKI Internet College in 1987. He was the founding editor of DEOSNEWS and the first moderator of DEOS-L. Paulsen’s dissertation is on “Pedagogical Techniques for Computer-mediated Communication.” He has also written the report “Online Education: An International Analysis of Web-based Education and Strategic Recommendations for Decision Makers” for the European CISAER-project. For more information, please visit Dr. Paulsen’s website at:
How to Cite
Paulsen, M. (2002). Online Education Systems in Scandinavian and Australian Universities: A Comparative Study. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 3(2).
Research Articles